Critics Consensus

Hardy Rises, but Venom Sinks Like a Brock

Plus, A Star Is Born is Certified Fresh.

by | October 4, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a persuasive PSA against the dangers of touching alien goo (Venom, starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed) and a celestial body reincarnated (A Star Is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga). What are the critics saying?


Venom (2018) 28%

Filmmakers are always faced with a tricky balance when attempting to adapt comics properties — the reason these characters make such appealing targets for adaptations is that they’re well known to a built-in fanbase, but the source material is tough to film without taking into account decades of increasingly complex stories. That’s a big bugaboo with Venom, which seeks to bring a wildly popular Spider-Man anti-hero to the big screen without tackling wide swaths of his (admittedly quite weird) origin story — or even involving the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler at all. That isn’t impossible, but it’s definitely difficult, and unfortunately, critics say the folks behind this movie weren’t up to the task. Starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, the down-on-his-luck journalist who finds himself unwillingly bonded with the titular bloodthirsty alien symbiote, Venom struggles to nail down its world-building elements while maintaining a tough tonal balance. It’s one part split personality comedy, one part brutal action thriller, and one part would-be superhero franchise starter — and unsurprisingly, reviews describe it as pretty much a complete mess. Fans of the character have been waiting years to see him get his proper cinematic due, but most of them will likely be left wanting after this.


A Star Is Born (2018) 90%

Last week’s updated Little Women didn’t exactly strike a chord with critics, but the pundits don’t always reject new versions of repeatedly remade movies. For our latest evidence, here’s A Star Is Born, which sees debuting director Bradley Cooper behind the lens for the latest take on a tale that first arrived in theaters in 1937 — and again in 1954, then yet again in 1976. You’d think there probably wouldn’t be much left to bring to the story, but this update proves that assumption delightfully wrong: critics say Cooper proves a deft hand in the director’s chair, and his chemistry opposite Gaga — whose own performance has prompted a chorus of cries echoing the film’s title — is more than enough to sell their characters’ Star-crossed romance all by itself. This project languished in development hell for years, but the extra time hasn’t hurt at all; reviews say the story of a struggling singer (Gaga) who falls in with a recording artist battling personal demons (Cooper) remains effortlessly absorbing in the right hands, and it’s in some excellent ones here. Expect to see a lot of sniffling patrons streaming out of A Star Is Born screenings this weekend — and don’t be surprised if this movie ends up being a big part of the conversation come awards season.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

romance YA BBC Marathons Rocky period drama Esquire VICE crossover Acorn TV historical drama aliens composers TCA TIFF TNT Amazon Mary Poppins Returns Crackle APB Apple Showtime blaxploitation GoT President AMC Tomatazos Food Network Winter TV binge medical drama MSNBC cults Disney Summer El Rey Horror CBS Martial Arts Writers Guild of America dceu Bravo The CW spider-man Winners Mary poppins History 2018 sitcom Awards robots Thanksgiving Rock Star Wars TCM Masterpiece Watching Series technology Red Carpet Character Guide talk show Comedy Central Paramount Network Interview supernatural Reality SDCC Valentine's Day Paramount Polls and Games Lifetime 24 frames USA jamie lee curtis TruTV diversity golden globes ratings Nat Geo Music E! war Pirates Country ESPN Fall TV PaleyFest Box Office political drama GLAAD Year in Review Disney Channel television Lucasfilm festivals psycho hist CMT Comic Book Ovation 20th Century Fox comic TBS DC Comics TV Land dramedy SXSW Photos Warner Bros. Epix YouTube Premium Columbia Pictures discovery National Geographic Superheroes social media See It Skip It HBO YouTube Red Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ABC IFC American Society of Cinematographers justice league FOX unscripted San Diego Comic-Con Election ITV Mary Tyler Moore SundanceTV zombies boxoffice Teen Countdown Starz New York Comic Con anime Walt Disney Pictures Creative Arts Emmys Musical Western Fantasy Sundance Now Trivia Mystery Spike TV Sony Pictures 45 singing competition Pop vampires Syfy IFC Films OWN TCA 2017 Action DC Universe Drama CBS All Access Nickelodeon WGN cooking science fiction Universal BBC America Logo Schedule Spring TV Sundance Freeform Toys Ghostbusters Britbox Best and Worst doctor who VH1 LGBTQ police drama Oscars Pixar Nominations Super Bowl Trophy Talk Shondaland Star Trek Adult Swim green book what to watch 21st Century Fox Chilling Adventures of Sabrina First Look harry potter RT History A&E Hulu Biopics Trailer serial killer spy thriller adventure Sci-Fi Rom-Com CW Seed Grammys docudrama Calendar crime drama 2019 Ellie Kemper mutant Dark Horse Comics zombie NBC sports 2015 E3 dc 2016 Shudder Sneak Peek based on movie Holidays travel Superheroe Set visit Comedy The Arrangement transformers Lionsgate thriller FXX GIFs Quiz DC streaming service Comics on TV finale Podcast Infographic Premiere Dates Netflix politics comiccon NYCC Animation Mindy Kaling X-Men Song of Ice and Fire crime thriller cops Kids & Family PBS streaming FX BET 2017 Fox News Emmys cats Extras ABC Family Certified Fresh Cosplay Marvel Tumblr USA Network biography award winner Reality Competition 007 TLC Cartoon Network DirecTV Christmas Opinion MTV cinemax CNN Video Games Awards Tour Musicals crime